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VMware unified endpoint management must improve UX, GM says

UEM has limited benefits if it doesn't help users do their jobs. VMware general manager Noah Wasmer discusses Workspace One's role in doing just that.

LAS VEGAS -- The promise of truly integrated endpoint management and application deployment is closer to reality.

VMware, one of many end-user computing vendors attempting to crack this nut, now allows IT administrators to configure and provision Windows 10 desktops through Workspace One. And new VMware unified endpoint management capabilities are available for Apple macOS and Google Chrome OS as well.

But there is still more to be done before organizations can deploy, manage and secure all of their applications -- and users can access them -- through one console. Noah Wasmer, general manager of mobile, discussed these VMware unified endpoint management efforts in an interview here at VMworld.

Wasmer also addressed the disconnect between VMware's membership in the AppConfig Community, which promotes device-level mobile application management (MAM), and its new support for app-level management of Microsoft Office 365. And he shared future plans for Mobile Flows, a tech preview that aims to streamline common business tasks through VMware's Boxer email app and other apps built on third-party platforms.

What more does VMware need to do to make Workspace One fully integrated?

Noah Wasmer: The analytics side, that's an obvious next place for us to say, at any point in time, "What are these devices doing? Who's consuming licenses? Are the devices secure?" and to expose those APIs to the partner ecosystem.

Our stated ambition has always been to have people love their work. We have these great technologies in our consumer life. But in the enterprise, we still often feel gated in terms of what we can do, what tools we can use. The biggest thing is the user experience. We've got to keep hammering away at that to make it easier, make it simpler, so that anybody can pick up any device and [access what they need to do their jobs].

How do you reconcile VMware's support for Office 365 MAM with its position as co-founder of AppConfig?

Our customers see value to managing Office.
Noah Wasmergeneral manager of mobile, VMware

Wasmer: Our customers see value to managing Office. All of the [enterprise mobility management] players would love to see AppConfig start to become a standard in Office shops. We'll continue to see if that's something Microsoft is open to. It'd be a great way to make it easy and simple to manage and secure those apps.

Why are Mobile Flows so important, and what is the problem that you're trying to solve?

Wasmer: Customers are looking to build line-of-business applications. How do we help the line of business get critical information to those users and get it in a mobile fashion?

Email is the conduit to almost every action today. When an employee picks up their mobile device and they get an email, often times that email requires them to go get other information from other applications.

It's great that you can do Mobile Flows through Boxer, but not everybody has Boxer.

Wasmer: We're open sourcing a lot of these different components. We already have quite a few of the connectors on GitHub. I hope that this is an opportunity to ... build an ecosystem around these technologies.

Boxer is a good reference app. You'll see things like people-search and approval apps that we're building as reference [workflows] that don't have to be in Boxer.

What can you say to customers to show that Mobile Flows and other VMworld tech previews are actually happening and that you're committed to releasing them?

Wasmer: The proof point is going to be customers trying it.

What is VMware's place in the application development market?

Wasmer: Customers have said, 'How do I make it easier for developers to get identity, security, analytics inside of those apps before they go out?' There's a natural extension for us to ... say, 'How do we help you build faster and safer?' and ideally do that without a developer having to change any of their processes.

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How VMware plans to simplify app publishing

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